Elimination of the Recruitment and Advertisement Exemption for Hiring International Students

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On June 5, 2014, the Employment and Social Development Canada announced a new change regarding hiring international students.

The Recruitment and Advertisement Exemption for employers hiring international students graduating from recognized Canadian post-secondary institutions is now eliminated. From now on, employers wishing to hire international students who have graduated from recognized Canadian post-secondary institutions and whose Post-Graduate Worker Permit (PGWP) is expireing, will need to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment to ESDC, and ensure that the individuals transitioning from the PGWP meet all of the requirements for the applicable stream under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.

For more information, please contact us.

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Canadian Government is taking action to facilitate trade and travel with Mexico

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Yesterday, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Canada announced a new program to facilitate trade and travel with Mexico.

Between January and April 2014, visitor visas, study and work permits issued to Mexican visitors, students and workers, are reaching a 20 percent increase from the same period last year. the Canadian Government is taking real action to make Canada’s close tourism ties with Mexico even closer.

CAN+ Program

Mexican nationals who have traveled to Canada or the United States within the last 10 years will be eligible for expedited visa processing named “Can+Program”. The Can+program will be a new option to make it easier for Mexican travelers to visit Canada.

A six-month pilot of the CAN+ program delivered real results: the CAN+ will reduce the Visa processing times for Mexican Travelers to 10 days or less.

Express Programs to Mexican Nationals

Citizenship and Immigration Canada also offers three “Express” programs that help Mexican business people, tourist groups and students come to Canada faster:

Business Express

This program allows business traveler from Mexico to apply for visas that will be issued within days with a near-perfect approval rate for applicants who registered in the program.

Travel Express 

This program offers a fast, simplified visa application process for tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.

Mexican Student Pilot

This pilot program designed for Mexican students, which fast-tracks the processing of study permits with a near-perfect approval rate for students who study at participating Canadian educational institutions.


“Our government is opening the door to economic growth while protecting the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. By making the CAN+ program permanent, our government is making it easier and faster for Mexican travellers to come to Canada to do business, visit family or friends, or bolster Canada’s tourism industry. This will further strengthen relations with our valued NAFTA partner and will help foster economic growth in both our countries.” Said Minister Alexander, Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

Original Announcement from CIC: http://goo.gl/GpGU7Y

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What you can bring with you to Canada

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What you can bring with you to Canada?

Whether you are a Visitor, Temporary Resident (student/worker) or a new Permanent Resident, the Government of Canada has certain regulations on what you can and cannot bring (import) into the country.

These restrictions are based on Canada’s laws and are in place to protect the best interests of Canadians.


As a visitor, you can transport specific goods into Canada for your own individual use as “personal baggage”. Personal baggage includes cameras and personal computers, clothing, camping and sports equipment. This category also includes aircraft, vehicles and private boats.

When you arrive at a port of border entry, you must declare all goods you have with you. Border services officers do perform inspections of goods being imported and will want to confirm declarations. If you declare goods when you arrive to Canada and take them back with you when you leave the country, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes.

When you bring in your personal baggage, these goods cannot be:

  • disposed of or left in Canada;
  • used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
  • used by a resident of Canada;
  • be given as a gift to a Canadian resident.

A border services officer may request that you leave a security deposit for your goods. This deposit will be refunded to you when you export (or bring the items with you when you leave the country) the goods from Canada.

If you are asked to leave a security deposit, the border officer will issue a Form E29B, Temporary Admission Permit. They will keep a copy of the form and give you a copy of the form for your records. When you leave Canada, you will present your goods and your copy of Form E29B to the border officer who will give you a receipt copy of the form and your security deposit will be refunded by post.


If you would like to bring a gift for a friend in Canada you can. The gift can be Canada duty- and tax-free as long as the gift is worth CAN$60 or less. If the gift’s value is more than CAN$60, you will have to pay duty and taxes on the extra amount. You cannot declare alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or business-related items as presents.

Work or Study in Canada

If you are entering Canada to study or work for less than 36 months, you may be able to temporarily import (or bring with you) personal and household goods (such as appliances, tableware, furniture, silverware and motor vehicles) duty-and tax-free. You can bring these items into Canada as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The goods cannot be used by a resident of Canada
  • You must take all non-consumable items with you when you leave the country at the end of your stay
  • You are not allowed to sell or otherwise leave the goods in Canada.

Temporary Residents Preparing to enter Canada

Prior to your arrival to Canada, you should bring two copies of a list (if possible typewritten) of all items brought into Canada. On your list you should note (if possible) the estimated value, make, model and serial number of each item.

If you are bringing jewelry into the country, it can be a challenge to describe the item accurately. If possible, have your jewelry appraised before you leave your country and bring the document with you to show the border service officer.

New Permanent Residents entering Canada

For information on what you can bring as a new permanent resident, or if you are returning to Canada see the Canadian Border Service Agency’s guide here. If you are entering Canada as a new Permanent Resident the same general restrictions will apply for your entry to the country.

Alcoholic beverages

You must be the minimum age to bring alcoholic beverages into Canada. The age is regulated by each of the provincial or territorial authorities. You must be18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec; and 19 years for the other provinces and territories in Canada.

You can bring with you only one of the following quantity of alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:

  • Up to 8.5 litres of beer or ale
  • 1.5 litres (53 imperial ounces) of wine

A total of 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of alcoholic beverages

Tobacco products

You are permitted to bring with you all of the quantities of tobacco into Canada free of duty and taxes:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 200 tobacco sticks
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • 50 cigars

Monetary instruments and Cash

If you are bringing into Canada or leaving Canada with currency equal to or greater than CAN$10,000 (or the equivalent in a foreign currency), you have to report the amount to a border officer when you either arrive or prior to leaving Canada. This policy applies to either cash or other monetary instruments.


They are certain goods which are restricted to bring into Canada. You will have to declare these items when you bring them into Canada and may be required to bring additional documentation with you.

Restricted items in Canada include (but not limited to):

  • Firearms and weapons
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition
  • Radio transmitting equipment
  • Items imported for commercial use
  • Goods subject to import controls
  • Prohibited consumer products

Food products, plants, animals and related products

Prohibited Goods

They are certain items which you cannot bring into Canada with you. These items include; obscene material, hate propaganda and child pornography.

Other items which you cannot bring into the country with you:

  • Used or second-hand mattresses
  • Health products (prescription drugs) – In Canada, health products may be regulated differently than they are in other countries. Make sure to check if you are allowed to bring your health products or prescription into the country.
  • Cultural property – Some cultural objects or antiquities which are considered to have historical significance to their country of origin, cannot be imported into Canada without the proper export permits.

For more information on what you can bring with you to Canada during your stay please visit: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pdt-pdt-eng.html#_s3


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New regulations for international students will take effect on June 1

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New regulations for international students

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Announced the new rules for international students that designed to intensify Canada’s reputation as a choice of high-quality education destination for prospective international students. These changes will take force on June 1, 2014. The new regulations will improve services to genuine students that willing to study in Canada,  and reduce the potential for fraud and misuse of the programs. Here is a summarized chart for the New Regulations: International Student Chart




















The finalized announcement also pointed that the designated educational institutions will be determined by provincial and territorial governments in coming months. Once the new regulations come into force, current international students who are studying at a non-designated institution with a valid study permit, will be permitted to complete their study for up to 3 years after the regulations take effect; Students in the same situation, holding an Off-Campus Work Permit or a Co-op Work Permit, will be permitted to continue to use or renew if necessary, their work permit until they complete their program, for up to 3 years after the new rules take effect. Additional operational regulations will be announced closer to June 1, 2014, when the new rules come into force. Source: cic.gc.ca   Contact us for more information.

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An Overall Guide to Study in Canada

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How to Study in Canada

If you have ever been interested to study in Vancouver, BC, there are now more opportunities than ever. The Canadian government recently announced that they intend to increase the number of study permits available for foreign students to learn in Vancouver, BC.

Studying in Canada can also be a path to immigrate to Vancouver and live permanently in Canada.

Studying college students

How to choose a school

  • Primary and secondary schools – these are schools for children of 6 – 18 years of age. Each of the provinces in Canada regulate these schools. To find out more about primary and secondary schools visit: Ministry of Education
  • Post-secondary institutions (universities, technical schools and colleges) – Each Post secondary school is different and has its own application process. For more information about the programs available and applications please review the school’s website. For details on the post secondary schools visit:                        Association of Universities and Colleges of CanadaAssociation of Canadian Community CollegesCanadian Information Centre for International CredentialsYou can also visit Education In Canada to get more information about requirements, application and admission information for programs of study.
  • Language schools – You can learn English or French at a language school in Vancouver, BC. There are several  schools in Canada that teach English or French as a second language.Provincial governments regulate language programs at public institutions but not necessarily the language programs at private schools, so it is important to speak with a qualified immigration consultant in Vancouver. Bell Alliance will be pleased to assist you with this. For more information about private language programs visit:Languages Canada

How to apply to a school

After you have looked at the schools that you are interested in, you will need to apply to the school. Each school will have different requirements. Apply early and allow at least one year for your application to be reviewed by the school. If the school approves your application, you will receive a letter of acceptance. You need the letter of acceptance to be able to apply for a Study Permit and a study permit is required if you plan to study longer than 6 months.

What you need to apply

It will depend on the school that you apply to but generally schools will want to see the following information as part of your application to the school:


Original or certified copies of your high school diploma and other post-secondary education documentation, this should include courses you have taken and your grades.

Proof of language skills

Standard test results from a certified language test that evaluates your skills in reading, writing, understanding and speaking either English or French. Accepted tests include:

  • The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Proof of good health

Depending on your home country, you might be required to pass a medical exam.  The exam will need to be done by an authorized doctor.

You can contact the school directly to get the application form and information you will need to apply to the school. The school can also provide you with information about:

  • the cost of applying
  • tuition fees
  • health insurance
  • rent and how much it will cost to live in Canada
  • language tests

Health insurance

If you are an international student the Canadian government does not provide medical coverage. Each province in Canada will have their own health coverage. It is a good idea to speak with the school you will be attending about applying for medical coverage.

Work while in school

Depending on the type of job you have while in school, you may be able to work while completing your studies.

Work on campus

You can work while in school on your school’s campus without a work permit if:

  • you are a full-time student, at a public college or university or private university
  • have a valid study permit

Work off campus

If you want to work off campus you will need to obtain a work permit. To be eligible for a work permit, you will have to be a full-time student at a college or university.

After studying in Vancouver, BC you may be eligible immigrate to Vancouver.

To learn more about schools and the possibilities to study in Vancouver, BC speak with a qualified immigration consultant at Bell Alliance Immigration

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Increased Number of International Students Canada

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StudentsCanada’s government plans to increase the number of international students by twice the amount in the near future. The government aims to focus on students from China and other countries which are currently experiencing growth. This increases the number of spots available to study in Canada and also could mean new opportunities for immigration to Vancouver, BC.

Vancouver is located in British Columbia and is the heart of international education in Western Canada.

As a result of the Canadian government increasing the number of study visas available for foreign students, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will also be increasing the number of diplomatic, visa-processing and marketing resources in China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, Mexico and the Middle East/North Africa region (including Turkey), so Canada can attract and process more students wanting to study in Canada.

The costs to study in Canada may be something to consider. For Canadian full-time undergraduate students the average annual tuition is $5,772, while at the same time an International student would pay more than triple. The average foreign student tuition for one year is $19,514.

Increased Number of International Students in Vancouver, Canada

While studying in Vancouver, BC is attractive to students. There are also other countries around the world competing for the attention of foreign students. Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK are actively seeking students from around the globe to sit in their classrooms.

Asian students

Many of Vancouver’s universities and colleges – including Langara, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Simon Fraser University – bring most of their international students from Asia, frequently China, and other areas like Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

University of British Columbia has 9,000 international students in Vancouver and is active in approximately 60 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.

ESL student pathways to university in Vancouver, are a great opportunity. People studying English as a Second Language in Vancouver, can eventually make their way to studying at a university and then working in Canada.

After completing their studies, the Canadian government is hoping in the future that international students will fill 86,500 jobs. This number is twice the number of jobs currently filled by foreign students. Currently, Canada is experiencing a gap in the labour market and the government is hoping that international students can be one solution to add much needed workers to the job market.

Asian Business workers

Another reason that Canada is welcoming international students to the second biggest country in the world, is to boost Canada’s economy. Foreign students spend their finances on tuition, accommodation, entertainment and other expenses. This all adds up to a big economic gain for local communities.

The B.C. Council for International Education  has stated that there were more than 100,000 international students in B.C. in 2011-12. The Canadian government is aiming to increase these numbers over the next few years. Studying in Canada is a unique opportunity to expand a person’s education, be on the path to employment, one day possibly immigrate to Vancouver and live in Canada permanently.

If you would like to study in Vancouver, BC and speak with a qualified immigration consultant please contact us


Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.

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Schools in Canada are helping international students feel more at home

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Thousands of international students arrive to Canada each year with hopes of broadening their education and also making new local friends. International students may have a thriving education but making new Canadian friends can be a bit of a challenge.

According to a report by the Canadian Bureau for International Education the majority of foreign students say they have very few or no Canadian friends. The students want to learn more about Canadian culture and the local way of life but it may be easier to turn to school friends who speak the same language and or are international students too.

Many international students say that making local friends helps them succeed while they are studying. The University of British Columbia assists international students by providing them with a program which makes it easier for the students to make local friends and helps ease the students into their new academic life.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) provides a “Community Program”. This program is designed to help international students to become a part of the local student community. UBC provides the following tips for international students wanting to be a part of the local student scene here in Vancouver:

  •  Join a student club or peer program
  • Sign up for an intramural sports team
  • Become a volunteer
  • Join a community group

Vancouver is a diverse city with people arriving to British Columbia from around the world. International students enjoy making friends with people from their home country through local cultural groups and organizations in the city. Many of the bigger cultural groups and communities have their own cultural or faith centres. These centres are the perfect place to make new friends.

Canadian students are friendly and like to make new friends. Most local students are eager to learn about other cultures and countries. But it takes two people to be friends, international students are encouraged to reach out to Canadian students and start a conversation.

If you are an international student and thinking about working in Canada, these skills will also help you feel better and happier in the workplace too. Below are five tips for international students to build a circle of local friends and have a full social life.

  • Make friends with a wide variety of people. Try speaking with classmates in different courses. Venture off campus and attend events that interest you.
  • Don’t be embarrassed about being different. Canada is a country made of people from around the world, chances are your new local friend may have another friend from the same country.
  • Speak slowly, and ask people to repeat. Make eye contact and laugh out loud, being friendly and outgoing will make it easier for people to talk to you. Be yourself and share your interests and likes with your new Canadian friends.
  • Don’t stay in too close contact with home. It actually helps to venture out a bit on your own, spend more time making local friends than you do speaking with people back home. This will help you learn more about the local culture and enjoy your time in Vancouver.
  • Pursue your interests. If you like a certain sport or hobby, try to find groups that share the same interests, this is a great way to make local friends. Be the first person to say hello in the group.

If you are an international student try not to spend too much time with people who speak the same language. Break from the group and start a conversation with a student who sits next to you in class.

There are so many opportunities in Canada and if you are living on campus or plan to work in British Columbia all of these tips will help you start your new life and enjoy your social time that much more!


Written by Sacha DeVoretz, blog contributor to Bell Alliance Global Immigration Services Inc.

Visit our Study Page for more information about how to become a international student in Canada.

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Work while you study in Canada

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Did you know that while you study you may be eligible to a work permit? Yes, you can work while you study in Canada in certain programs.

Did you know that your possibilities to immigrate to Canada increase at the end of your studies? Yes, they definitely increase!!!

Contact us!!!

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Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Facts – An Overview!

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Note: the Labour Market Opinion is now being transformed to the new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), to check out for more details regarding this change, see: New Labour Market Impact Assessment

If you’re looking for a job opportunity in Canada, you may have heard about the Labour Market Opinion (LMO). What exactly is a LMO? Do you and your employer need a LMO for your prospective job offer?  Let’s review the facts about the Labour Market Opinion.


A LMO is an application made by Canadian employers for an “Opinion” from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to confirm that “reasonable efforts” to recruit Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s) have been made and that there are no qualified, willing and able Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s).


The purpose of the LMO is to ensure that there really is a shortage of Canadians or permanent residents willing and able to do the job, and therefore that hiring a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.


If the job offer is genuine and if the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada. The Approval of a LMO comes in the form of a “Confirmation” from Service Canada. Although a foreign national may be identified on the Labour Market Opinion, the confirmation pertains to the Job position, not the foreign national. When the LMO application approved, employer will receive a positive LMO. This LMO is provided to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and communicated to the employer.


What if I got a “Neutral” LMO? HRSDC/Service Canada determine whether the entry of a TFW would likely have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. This wording was intended to emphasize the benefits to employers of having access to TFWs, in contrast to the former approach which emphasized the negative impact (e.g. the focus was on potential loss of job opportunities for Canadians). Whether a decision is based on an assessment that the impact is positive or neutral, the outcome is the same in practical terms: a positive LMO is issued.


Work permits exempt from an LMO

There are some regulatory authorities to issue a work permit to a worker who does not require an LMO. Including :


  • Workers covered under international agreements:Professionals, traders, investors and business people coming to Canada to work under certain international agreements.
  • Participants in exchange programs:People whose employment in Canada will provide similar employment to Canadians abroad, such as participants in youth exchange programs, teacher exchange programs or other reciprocal programs.
  • Spouses
    • Spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students who are studying full-time.
    • Spouses and common-law partners of certain skilled foreign workers.
  • Workers, their spouses/common-law partners or their dependents who are eligible for a work permit through an active pilot project
  • Workers nominated by a province for permanent residence:A person who has been nominated by a province for permanent residence and has a job offer from an employer based in that province.
  • Entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees:Some types of entrepreneurs, workers transferring within a company, and other types of workers who will provide significant benefit to Canadians or permanent residents by working in Canada.
  • Academics and students: Certain academics and students.
  • Co-op students: Foreign students who are studying in Canada and who need to do co-op work placements as part of their program of study.
  • Religious workers: People doing charitable or religious work.
  • Others: Certain people who need to support themselves while they are in Canada for other reasons such as the refugee determination process.

As of April 29th 2013, the government introduced several changes to the Labour Market Opinion Process. Check our Blog to see Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program .


Tips for Applying for an LMO

If applying for an LMO, here are some tips:

  • Plan as far in advance as possible when hiring temporary foreign workers. Do a needs assessment to determine if you will need to hire in the next 6 to 12 months.
  • Apply for the LMO ASAP! Once you identify a need, even if it’s not for several months, start the LMO process. It can take 2-3 months for HRSDC to make a decision on an LMO.
  • Recruit more than the minimum. Employers must recruit for at least 14 days. Don’t just meet the minimum. Recruit longer and on more sites than what HRSDC requires.
  • Once an application is submitted, be prepared for a call from HRSDC. HRSDC will contact the employer in most cases and expect the employer to respond immediately to their voice message or email. If an employer fails to respond within days, HRSDC may refuse the application.

For more information and the application for a LMO, please contact us.

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Work During your trip to Canada: International Experience Canada

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It’s a dream of many…an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity too good to miss! If you have ever wanted to live, travel and work in Canada, here is a perfect opportunity to make your dream come true.


International Experience Canada is a temporary Work Permit program for young people aged 18-35 who are from one of the countries that have a bilateral reciprocal youth mobility arrangement or agreement with Canada. Couldn’t find your country from the list? No worry, you also have a chance to connect with one of the recognized organizations  for other travel and work opportunities in Canada.

There are three categories under IEC program:

  • The Working Holiday Program gives adults between 18 – 35 years the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for one or two years
  • The Young Professionals Program gives adults between 18 – 35 years the opportunity to gain professional work experience
  • The International Co-op Program is for students to gain work experience related to their studies.

What you can do after IEC ?

Extend your stay in Canada as a Temporary Worker: with a valid job offer, and a positive LMO, you would be able to extend your work permit beyond your IEC permit. You’ll have a chance to continue gaining your work experience in Canada, or looking for more opportunities in Canada for your future career contribution.

Live in Canada permanently: Temporary foreign worker in a skilled occupations would be able to apply under Canadian Experience Class for permanent residency after at least 1 year work experience in Canada. For more information about CEC program, please contact us

Over 415,000 international participants have traveled and worked in Canada under IEC. Read some of their stories to learn about their experience

There is a quota every year for each program in each country, you can check here to see if you missed this year. If you did, be prepared to apply next year!

Contact us for more information about International Experience Canadian

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